May 15, 2015

Three G-Star students were honored at the White House Film Festival. Out of 1,500 submissions, 15 Official Selections were screened touching on this year’s theme of “The Impact of Giving Back”.
Students Shaun Besman, Daniella Pereira and Julissa Perez won the Creative Luminaries Award for their short film Give It All Away.  Shaun acted as writer, cinematographer, lighting designer, sound mixer and editor. Daniella wrote the narration, performed on screen, and assisted with editing. Julissa assisted with the narration and wrote and performed the title song, Give It All Away.

The students exuded excitement as they recounted their adventure in Washington D.C. Daniella shared that the experience “was a dream”, adding that the three are best friends and could not imagine a more rewarding experience.  Shaun explained, “It was not at all what we expected. I thought it’d be a side event but we were honored and respected by many politicians, actors and filmmakers that were there to support us.” Julissa added, “Meeting the President was such a great honor. It was so inspiring to see young people giving back and hearing about all of the organizations they have created, especially since we are characterized as a generation that doesn’t care. This was an exemplary group.”

The group reminisced on their experience creating the film, which was submitted at 11:57 on an 11:59 pm deadline. It was all sparked by one of G-Star’s faculty members, Susan Tieche, who encouraged the students to seize the special opportunity.

President Obama presented the awards and emphasized his support of the “Call to Arts”, promising each festival participant that a sponsor from the American Film Institute will be assigned to them. Each student has already been contacted by the group, and they look forward to working with their new mentors. To watch their winning short film, visit www.whitehouse.gov/filmfestival and to learn more about G-Star School of the Arts please visit gstarschool.org.



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